News:The World Bank has released a report titled “Unleashing E-Commerce for South Asian Integration”.
Key takeaways from the report:
- The report has said that e-commerce can become a driver of growth across South Asia and boost trade among the region’s countries but its potential remains largely untapped.
- The online sales in India as a percentage of total retail sales were only 1.6% when compared to 15% in China and around 14% globally.
- Hence,increasing the use of e-commerce by consumers and firms in South Asia could potentially help boost competition and firm productivity, and encourage diversification of production and exports.
Challenges in E-commerce trade:
- Taxes, trade and barriers in export markets
- Lack of mutual trust in intra-regional trade
- Complicated non-transparent non tariff measures
- Constraints over Services trade
- Below potential FDI
- Lack of regional value chains.
- The report has proposed reforms in areas such as payments, delivery, market access regulations, consumer protection and data privacy at the national, regional, and global levels.
- The small and medium enterprises in the region could increase their exports, employment by as much as 30% if the countries removes regulatory and logistical challenges to e-commerce.